I had my aunties for tea. I made home-made custard slices, lemon curd cupcakes and Black Forest Gateaux – there were 3 of us!
We ended up talking ‘crochet’ and watching the food channel (my idea of heaven) There was a lot of chatter amongst the aunties as to what the heck they were doing – referring to the chefs on the telly. Once I’d set the record straight, the response from the peanut gallery was ” you’re such a clever girl” said with such love & admiration. For some reason this really got to me. It struck me how far I’d come, from the young girl who tried to cook a Sunday roast by cooking the chicken in a plastic bag….this according to my family has left some deep emotional scars. They are astounded to this day that I earn a living cooking – the same person who thought marmite on toast was a gourmet Sunday night supper.
*Please note I didn’t willingly go into the kitchen to roast chickens in plastic bags or make marmite toast for Sunday supper….it was a family thing, each sibling HAD to make a light Sunday supper at least once a month and so I did – marmite on toast*
The 1st ‘proper’ meal after my roast chicken debacle was Bangers and Cement I mean mash made in a kitchen the size of a hamster cage. It took me roughly 4 hours to make and as I stepped out of the kitchen into my bedroom/lounge I dropped the entire meal. My future father in law who I swore belonged to the mafia, there and then, put a hit out on me….. well obviously he didn’t because I’m still alive ……………………. but that death stare, it spoke volumes.
Thereafter, I muddled through a serious of blur meals because one should eat. I had no interest in cooking or food (goodness knows what I did with myself all day) because now, I’m constantly thinking of food. Lovie’s pet hate is taking a mouthful of breakfast and me asking him what he wants for dinner. I’m so tuned into food I can take inspiration from anywhere and I’ve always said, Lovie could have an affair right under my nose and I wouldn’t know it but let him miss a meal like lunch and I’d know straight away.
So what changed ? A beef stew that went wrong……………
I can’t remember the details, it was so long ago but it went something like this – group of friends hanging out at the dam, weather turns grey & miserable, everyone ends up at our place, I cook beef stew that ends up as a peppered-steak- something, everyone licks their plate clean (true story) and I fall in love with cooking and the joy it brings to the table. There and then I wanted to master the art of cooking, that act of putting yourself on a plate and being licked up like that was addictive and I wanted more. I taught myself how to cook and the rest is history.
So if you’re up for a good licking then give this recipe a go. It’s seriously simple with only 5 basic ingredients and with winter around the corner a definite must!
Peppered Steak Pie
- 1kg of stewing beef
- 1x onion, finely chopped
- 4x cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 125ml flour
- 15ml coarse black pepper
- 15ml ground black pepper
- 500ml water
- Oil for frying
- 500g Potatoes, peeled and quartered
- Season the flour with salt and toss the beef pieces with the seasoned flour.
- Heat a heavy base pot over a medium heat. Add a little oil and fry the beef pieces in batches. Do not worry if there is flour stuck to the bottom of the pot I will show you want to do next. Set the browned beef pieces aside.
- Remove the pot from the heat and add a splash of water (60ml) The water will begin to lift the flour from the bottom of the pot. Keep stirring and return the pot to a low heat, scraping at any residue at the bottom of the pot until there is hardly any left.
- Turn the heat up and reduce the amount of liquid in the pot to almost nil.
- Add the onion & garlic and fry until just soft – no need to add further oil if there is still a little liquid in the pot. Return the beef pieces to the pot.
- Add the coarse black pepper and fine pepper and stir.
- Add a 500ml of water or just enough water to cover the meat. Add the potatoes (optional) and bring to the boil – see note 1
- Check your seasoning and add a little salt if necessary. Turn the heat down real low and simmer with the LID ON for 1 hour. If adding potatoes add now and simmer for a further 30 minutes. If you’re not adding potatoes simmer skip this part.
- Because of the flour you’re going to have to keep checking that the mixture isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pot by giving it a stir every now and then.
- Once the meat is tender and the potatoes cooked, it’s ready.
- Serve with rice or creamy mash and if you’re feeling very adventurous use the filling to make peppered steak pies.
Note 1: Lovie likes his peppered steak served with creamy mash so I omit the potatoes but if you’re serving it with rice or crusty bread then by all means, add the potatoes.